Dei Hamo at ‘the crossroads’ in Samoa

Samoan Hip Hop Artist Sanerivi Sagala, commonly known as Dei Hamo, is in the country filming a short documentary around Upolu.

The hip hop artist, producer and director performed at Taumeasina Island Resorts’ Beer fest event on Friday night. 

Speaking to the Samoa Observer, Dei Hamo revealed that the three-minute documentary is a story based on his good friend and fellow hip hop artist, Kas Futialo, who performs under the name “Tha Freestyle”.

“I’m here shooting a short film. It’s about a good friend of mine well known Samoan recording artist Kas Futialo, he released ‘Suamalie’ back in 2004, he’s been releasing music for ages. It’s a three-minute documentary and the project was picked up by an online platform called ‘Loading Doc’,” said Dei Hamo.

“It’s pretty much a short film about Samoan culture meets hip hop culture and how the two meet, but it’s more of an artist interpretation as opposed a long form documentary – it’s an artist piece but in documentary form.”

Based in Mangere, Auckland, Dei Hamo said these days he is moving more towards his other passion, which is filmmaking. 

Arriving on Monday, he and his film crew have been to various sites around Upolu and even stopped by to meet Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sa’ilele Malielegaoi on Thursday. 

 “I’ve basically stepped back from doing music and been focusing on video productions and shooting a lot of videos and moving into film. 

We landed here on Monday and our second day we went location scouting the whole day and then Tuesday started filming and we’ve been filming on the go since we got here.”

The last time Dei Hamo was in the motherland was in 2015, but at the time it was a quick three-day work trip. 

The Hip Hop artist admits that he has definitely got to see more during this trip and is amazed at how much Samoa has changed.

“It’s beautiful to be back in Samoa, I always get emotional just because I’m a proud Samoan. Last night we had a really good night out at the Marina and that was my first night ever in Samoa and I absolutely loved it. 

The view from the Marina is absolutely not what I would have expected. It’s funny because it feels like we’re back in Auckland and we are at the wharf with all the yachts and the lights, it was amazing.”

The 43-year-old music and film producer, who hails from the villages of Fasito’o Uta and Vaie’e, said he plans to return later in the year with his son. 

“I always feel privileged to be back here in the motherland and I feel so connected from the land, both my parents are from here. This time I have more time to see this side of the island. I also went through my mum’s village in Fasito’o uta on our first day here so that was special. 

I really want to bring my son here so looking at probably the end of the year to make a trip back.” 

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